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Mobility of couples in academia

  1. Oct 27, 2012 #1

    I would like to know what are the chances of a couple getting two permanent academic positions in the same place, since it seems so hard to get a tenure track position? Have you ever tried (and succeeded?) in finding a position in the same city as your wife/husband, and what do people do when they don't find any?
    My question holds with both persons looking for an academic position, but also if only one of them is in this case and the other has got a permanent job : were you ever in this situation and what is your experience about it?


    Edit : I should probably have posted in "Career guidance", if a moderator can move the thread.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2012 #2
    I'm sure it isn't easy to do, but it definitely is possible. I know quite a few 'academic couples'. A few of the professors in my department are married to professors either in the department or at a nearby school. They all have tenure and some of them are fairly young (PhD < 15 years ago).
  4. Oct 27, 2012 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    This is possible, but it is very difficult and probably getting more difficult. If the probability of getting a faculty job is epsilon, the probability of getting two is epsilon squared.

    In the past, one option was that the leading spouse would get a faculty position, and the trailing spouse would get a soft-money position on someone's grant. Long-term soft money positions are drying up, though, and some difficult situations lie ahead.
  5. Oct 28, 2012 #4


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    I avoided that problem by not becoming part of a "serious couple" until after I got a tenure-track position, with pretty good prospects of getting tenure. She already had tenure here, in another department/field. A few years after we got married, I got tenure myself.
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